96 days until Trump’s fascist kakocracy is served its just desserts.


Tau ya Mariri on Twitter: "Which ANC? The ANC I grew up studying ...

Isn’t that a great word?

Kakocracy.

It’s Greek-derived and means a rule or government by the worst of people.

I assume its etymology is closely related to Caca (The Spanish word for shite): a shitocracy.

If Trump (a shite) is running (I use the word loosely) a government that is a kacocracy then he is running a government of shites.

And he is.

And they are.

America’s privileged elite: that want to reduce Unemployment Insurance Benefit from the current $400 a week to $200 a month. Saying, why should taxpayers carry the burden?

Well, because it’s taxpayers that need the support I’d say.

Anyway back to Trump’s kakocracy.

I’ve been listening to the highly entertaining Pod Save America for weeks now and it’s clear that they are part of the Democrats’ election machine, but the presenters wear their hearts on their sleeves so openly that it validates the appalling bias of their twice-weekly in-depth analysis of all things political in the USA.

It was here that I stumbled upon this wonderful word. A word that must have been created with Trump’s administration in mind because usually the denigration of governments stems from autocracy or even dictatorship.

But here we have a government fairly and democratically elected, now in a state of delusion, disarray and frankly, evil.

The USA does not deserve or need this shitshow, this freak show, this carnage.

So come 3rd November if the polls are reliable (Biden 8 points up) the kakocracy will be consigned to the cesspit of history.

A history lesson that will endure the ages, that will draw the question, “Mummy, Daddy what did you do during the war on decency?”

History teachers will have to reframe lessons, will need to pre-warn their students that this four-year period of American disintegration, when it became the laughing stock of the world, was for real, not a comedy interlude, a Shakesperean musical in the woods, a play within a play.

No. It was for real.

Yes, before he went to prison as an enemy of the state Mr Donald (person, woman, man, camera, TV) Trump was for actual real.

A barefaced, lying fascist scumbag who abused his citizens on the world stage, with only Altzheimers as his defence, while a sociopathic kacokracy looked on with daggers behind their backs waiting to absolve themselves from blame because they were only following the fuhrer’s orders.

That’s what a kakocracy is.

And it comes to an end in 96 days.

Breathe.

The Horror of Dolores Roach (Seasons 1 and 2): Podcast review


Show artwork for The Horror of Dolores Roach

This, the Sweeney Todd of Washington Heights, is delicious, if you get my drift.

Daphne Rubin-Vega originally wrote it as a one woman show and it’s been picked up by the excellent Gimlet and Bobby Cannavale added to the cast for both star quality and real quality. Both are superb actors.

It was written by Aaron Mark and it’s clear that he’s relished the challenge of firstly updating Sweeney Todd, placing it in a Puerto Rican context, and then driving full blown into cannibalism and full-frontal sex. Even if it’s all aural.

It’s bloody brilliant.

The story is ostensibly Sweeney but gathers momentum and ghoulishness as Mark realises his canvas is only as limited as his imagination. So it’s a big canvas.


In season two the Sweeney story is left behind and we move into new and expanded territory that keeps, just enough of this side of preposterous to let the listener go with it and revel in it’s dark humour (and boy, there’s plenty of that).

It took an episode for me to get into it as the first-person narrative threatened to stifle its potential, but once into its stride, with its cast of lowlife’s, ‘trannies’, drug dealers, murderers and ne’er-do-wells it relished its ability to transgress convention and get really quite icky.

Apparently it has been picked up for TV and that will make for interesting viewing.

I loved it. Alongside Homecoming the best fiction podcast I’ve listened to.

Tremendous.

Mercury Prize nomination 2020. The year of the women.


I’m grateful to BBC News for the graphics below. Please don’t throw me into prison for using them.

Indeed you can read the BBC’s view on this link

It’s not a great list, is it?

Anna Meredith – Fibs

Anna Meredith album artwork

She’s amazing but the album is too patchy. I love her, and I’d lobe her to win but her contemporary masterpiece is not, as yet recorded.

Short presentational grey line

Charli XCX – How I’m Feeling Now

Charli XCX album artwork

I have little to say about this. Not a fan. A surprising nomination in my view.

Dua Lipa – Future Nostalgia

Dua Lipa album artwork

This reviewed well but I am too old. No, sorry.

Short presentational grey line

Georgia – Seeking Thrills

Georgia album artwork

She’s the guy from Leftfeild’s daughter. That’s where the greatness ends. Absolutely not the winner.

Short presentational grey line

Kano – Hoodies All Summer

Kano album artwork

Grime. I don’t listen to Grime.

I mean, I saw Dizzee Rascal at Glastonbury, but he’s push. No thanks.

Short presentational grey line

Lanterns On The Lake – Spook The Herd

Lanterns on the Lake album artwork

I don’t know this at all so I can’t comment.

Laura Marling – Song For Our Daughter

Laura Marling album artwork

Her fourth nomination, and rightly so. Laura Marling is a queen of UK indy folk and this one , whis=lst not immediately her best is a grower. A certain contender in my view.

Short presentational grey line

Michael Kiwanuka – Kiwanuka

Michael Kiwanuka album artwork

His third nomination (already?)

He may be too ‘popular’ now to be the favourite but this is a very good record indeed. A soul classic steeped in 70’s funky ooze. It’s a lovely joyous record with much in common with Marvin Gaye at his besyt.

A contender in my view.

Short presentational grey line

Moses Boyd – Dark Matter

Moses Boyd album artwork

The token Jazz record. He’s a drummer and his album is decent. But it’s not Kamashi Washington, GoGo Penguin or Sons of Kemet level of jazz greatness, well not in my view on first listen. However jazz records never win. Even in this new age of jazz.

(He’ll win then.)

Short presentational grey line

Porridge Radio – Every Bad

Porridge Radio album artwork

Too bad a name to consider. But my pals like her.

Sports Team – Deep Down Happy

Sports Team album artwork

I liked the singles from this but they are highly derivative. The couldn’t lace IDLES shoes.

Short presentational grey line

Stormzy – Heavy Is The Head

Stormzy album artwork

Heavy is the Head is a truly wonderful song but I didn’t really like his Glastonbury set and this genre is winning too much, so it’s a no from me.

So, that means it’s a shoot out between Laura Marling and Michael Kiwanuka.

I predict Marling wins.

The Missing Cryptoqueen: Podcast review


The great podcasts keep on coming. The seam is rich and golden and here’s another to indulge in.

This is a BBC publication about a Bulgarian businesswoman, Dr Ruja Ignatova, who persuaded millions to sign up to her rival to BitCoin, called OneCoin, reaping billions of pounds of illegal takings.

The trouble is, this crypto-currency has no blockchain and therefore cannot be spent anywhere.

It’s Fools’ Gold, and it’s worthless.

Then she disappeared.

Jamie Bartlett takes us through the story in double-quick time and leaves you gasping at Dr Ignatova’s bravado, ruthlessness and greed and the gullibility of the millions who fell for her classy veneer.

It’s pretty scary to be honest.

But it’s riveting and that’s why you should invest a few hours of your time listening to it.

The Salt Path by Raynor Winn: Book review.


The Salt Path by Raynor Winn | Waterstones

Despite its weaknesses this is a really rather lovely book.

It’s a poor man’s Bill Bryson meets Ranulph Fiennes, and when I say poor man, I mean poverty stricken.

Actually Raynor is a woman and the story is the odyssey she and her terminally ill husband took upon hearing within a few days that a) they were to be evicted from their family home after a long and deeply unfair court battle and b) of his unfavourable short-medium term prognosis over a neurological disease that would eventually reduce him to a vegetative state.

Not the best way to embark upon a 600+ mile walk of a coastal path (the Salt Path of the title) from Somerset, through North Devon, Cornwall, South Devon and finishing up in Poole.

It’s not an assault on the North Pole but neither were they fit, well or equipped. Furthermore, they were literally penniless.

My struggle with the tale is Winn’s obvious desire to live up to quality expectations that a Penguin-writer must face and a desire to tell a simple tale about her experiences; so that for large sections of the book, particularly in the first half, substance battles with style and the sometimes lack of the latter gets in the way of the former.

But she works it out and the modest heroism of the couple, combined with the subtle self-deprecating humour that she underpins the story with, gradually reels you in.

In the end it’s a story of the triumph of human spirit that’s engaging and beautiful.

The husband, Moth, is a saint of sorts – on more than one occasion acts of random kindness from him to others, in what he considered at the time, to be in even more challenged circumstances than their own are quite remarkable. This is a man with a heart of gold.

It’s also a great love story, because clearly Raynor loves Moth with her entire being and this radiates from the pages at times.

It’s not a classic, but it is a very rewarding read and spoilers aside it leaves you with a deep regard for a couple that truly grace the human species with their very fact of living and sharing this simple but heartfelt tale.

Recommended.

YouGov’s fact of the day.


Red Blood Cells: Function and Structure

I was taken aback by this fundamentally crucial lack of personal (and potentially life-saving) knowledge.

YouGov asked Brits if they know their blood type

Only 45% of Brits know their blood type, whereas 55% do not.

Only 19% of adults under 25 know their blood type, compared to 55% of the over 65’s

I’m O neg. That’s pretty handy. For pretty much everyone on the planet.

And it’s why I donate, because mine is the ‘Vanilla’ of blood types.

It goes with anyone.